Latest Stories

House to cooperate in Ombudsman’s probe of pork barrel scam–Speaker


House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — With Congress taking a hit from the P10-billion pork barrel scam, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the House of Representatives would fully cooperate and provide all necessary documents in the investigation of the controversy involving legislators who supposedly channeled public funds to their own pockets.

Belmonte said on Tuesday that helping in the probe conducted by government agencies such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the Commission on Audit, and the Department of Justice would help Congress as an institution.

Belmonte added that he would not let his personal ties with anyone affect the probe.

“I promise to give full cooperation to them in terms of records. I will provide 100 percent cooperation. Friendships aside, this is really a blot on all of us. It is necessary for the sake of the institution that we cooperate with the authorities,” Belmonte told reporters.

Five former House lawmakers, but no incumbent representatives, have been included in the plunder and malversation cases filed before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the misuse of their priority development assistance funds. The DOJ is set to file more cases, which it will do in batches.

Belmonte said only a handful of the nearly 300 House members had been implicated in the issue, and majority of them “handle their PDAF very well to the satisfaction of the people.”

But he also said he was concerned about those who had several questionable transactions involving their pork barrel, as it might be difficult for them to proclaim their innocence.

“I’m really concerned about people who repeatedly do it because it’s very hard for them to claim good faith. If it happened to you one time, especially if another friend said that’s okay, maybe you could be innocent,” he said.

“But if you repeatedly do it… of course, one comes to a different conclusion,” he added.

Belmonte said he has not talked recently with any of the former lawmakers who have been included in the complaint, but he would lend a sympathetic ear should they try to talk to him. Still, Belmonte said, he would let the wheels of justice turn.

He also commiserates with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, one of three senators included in the plunder complaint for allegedly receiving kickbacks from their pork barrel.

He said he has not met with Enrile lately.

“As a personal friend, I’d like to commiserate with him, but at the same time, I have no intention of interfering or doing anything in any way. It’s just really a personal thing,” he said.

He added that as leaders of their respective chambers in Congress, he and Enrile’s working relationship has been very good.

Meanwhile, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, president of the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats, said on Tuesday, he was saddened by the filing of a plunder complaint against his party-mate, Lakas chair and Sen. Bong Revilla Jr., over the alleged diversion of his pork barrel funds.

But Romualdez said he was glad that with the filing of the case with the Ombudsman, the trial by publicity against Revilla would stop.

“We have faith the wheels of justice will turn. We hope he will be able to acquit himself in the court of law,” he said.

He expressed hope that politicians from the opposition would not be subjected to a double-standard of justice.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crime , Department of Justice , direct bribery , Feliciano Belmonte Jr. , Graft and Corruption , House of Representatives , Juan Ponce Enrile , law and justice , malversation of public funds , News , Office of the Ombudsman , Philippine Congress , Philippine Government , Plunder , Pork barrel , pork barrel scam , preliminary investigation , Priority Development Assistance Fund , speaker

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Smooth Edsa ride up in 2 years, but…
  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Marketplace